Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

General Information



Certain models covered in this information are equipped with a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), commonly referred to as an air bag. The bag itself is stored within the hub of the steering wheel; the sensors and control module are behind the dashboard. Some models are equipped with dual air bags; one air bag is stored in the steering wheel and the other in the passenger's side of the dashboard, above the glove box. The air bag system is designed to aid in restraining the driver (and passenger on dual air bag models) during a frontal collision; the system supplements (assists) the seat belt system. An air bag system is ineffective if seat belts are not worn.

The air bag is a fabric bag or balloon with an explosive inflator unit attached. The system employs impact sensors and a safing sensor as well as an inflator circuit and control module. A back-up power system is connected in parallel with the battery. No single sensor can trigger SRS deployment. The safing sensor, and at least one of the impact sensors must engage together for at least 0.002 seconds. This "agreement" of the sensors is required to help prevent accidental deployment.

When the control unit receives these signals, power is supplied to the inflator circuit, either from the battery or back-up system. A small heater causes a chemical reaction in the igniter; the non-toxic gas from the chemical mixture expands very rapidly (in milliseconds), filling the bag and forcing it through the cover pad. Since all this is happening very rapidly, the expanding bag should reach the occupant before he/she reaches the steering wheel/dashboard during a frontal collision. The chemical reaction is complete by the time the air bag is fully inflated; as the occupant hits the bag, the gas is allowed to escape slowly through vents in the back of the bag.

The control unit contains a self-diagnostic circuit. When the ignition switch is turned ON , the SRS dash warning lamp should light for about 6 seconds, then go out. If the light does not come on, does not go out or comes on when driving, the system must be diagnosed and repaired by a Honda dealer or reputable shop. The system is NOT repairable at home.


While the SRS is fully capable of operating trouble-free for years, its presence poses a great hazard during repair. Unintentional inflation can cause severe injury and/or property damage. For that reason ALL of the following items must be fully observed during any repair or procedure in or around the steering column or dashboard. Proper safety precautions MUST be observed at all times.

Do not attempt to repair or alter any part of the SRS. If the system needs repair or diagnosis, take the car to a Honda dealer or reputable service facility.
Before making repairs to the steering wheel, column or dashboard, the system must be disarmed by installing the shorting connector.
All SRS-related wiring and connectors are identified by yellow outer insulation. NEVER attempt to test these circuits or use them to power other components.
Disconnect both battery cables and wait at least three minutes before working on the vehicle.
Once the steering wheel pad is removed, store it face up in a clean area. If stored face down, accidental detonation could launch it.
Keep the steering wheel pad in a clean, dry location. Contact with acid, water or heavy metals (copper, lead, mercury) can cause accidental discharge. Storage temperature must not exceed 200°F (93°C).
Do not replace the original steering wheel with any other type; do not interchange SRS parts between vehicles.
Never attempt to modify, splice or repair any SRS-related wire or cable. Do not disconnect the SRS wiring during repairs; always follow the proper disarming procedure first.
The system must be inspected by a Honda dealer 10 years after the date of manufacture as shown on the certification plate. Note that this "build date" will be earlier than your actual purchase date.
The system must be checked after ANY frontal accident, even if the system did NOT deploy.


See Figures 1 and 2

This procedure MUST be followed whenever working on or near SRS components and when otherwise noted. The shorting connector must be installed whenever the air bag is disconnected from the harness. If equipped with dual air bags, always disarm the passenger's air bag as well.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, then the positive cable from the battery. Wait at least three minutes before proceeding.
  3. Remove the maintenance lid below the air bag on the steering wheel; it is secured by two screws. Remove the red shorting connector stored inside the lid.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the panel to access the air bag connector

  1. Disengage the connector between the air bag and the cable reel in the steering wheel. The connector can be reached through the opening provided by removing the maintenance lid. Install the shorting connector into the air bag side of the wiring connector.
  3. To disarm the passenger's side air bag, first remove the glove box. Now disengage the connector between the SRS main harness and the air bag. Install the red shorting connector into the air bag side of the connector.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: To access the passenger air bag, it will be necessary to remove the glove box

  1. DON'T forget to enable the system after the repairs are finished.


  1. Remove the shorting connector from the air bag, then engage the air bag and cable reel (driver's side) or SRS main harness (passenger side) connectors.
  3. Reinstall the maintenance lid and glove box (as applicable).
  5. Reconnect the battery cables, positive cable first.
  7. Turn the ignition switch ON , the SRS dash warning lamp should light for about 6 seconds, then go out. If the light does not come on, does not go out or comes on when driving, the system must be diagnosed and repaired by a Honda dealer or reputable shop.